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Chapter 2. Illustration Of The Way In Which Allah Perfected The Excellence Of The Prophet’s Character And Establishment And Blessing Him With All The Virtues Of Religion And This World

Those who love our noble Prophet Mohammed (peace and blessing be upon him) and seek to learn the details of the immense treasure of his reality should first know that they are one of two categories in which the beautiful and perfect qualities of mankind can be found. The first category: This is the category of inborn characteristics, for example, those which are necessary for this worldly life, and things associated with the actions occurring in one's daily habits. The second category: This is the category in which characteristics are accomplished as part of one's religion, and these are the praiseworthy qualities that draw one nearer to Allah. These qualities are in themselves divisible into two categories, and are either qualities that are inborn or acquired, or a combination of both qualities. With respect to inborn qualities, such qualities are not subject to choice. For example a perfect physique, beauty, intellectual power, perfect code of ethics, accuracy of understanding, removal from all bad characteristics, eloquence, sharpness of senses, bodily strength, noble lineage, power of one's relatives and the honour of one's nation.

Section 1: Introduction

Section 2: The description of the Prophet's physic

Section 3: The Prophet's cleanliness

Section 4: The Prophet's intellect, eloquence and astuteness

Section 5: The perfection of the Prophet's speech

Section 6: The nobility of the Prophet's lineage, his honoured birthplace, and his upbringing

Section 7a: The daily life of the Prophet

Section 7b: Marriage and related issues

Section 7c: The way in which the Prophet dealt with money and commodities

Section 8: Praiseworthy qualities

Section 9: The intellect of the Prophet

Section 10: The clemency, forbearance, patience, forgiveness and pardoning status of the Prophet

Section 11: The generosity and openhandedness of the Prophet

Section 12: The courage and bravery of the Prophet

Section 13: The modesty of the Prophet and lowering of his gaze

Section 14: The goodness of the Prophet's companionship, his manners and nature

Section 15: The Prophet being sent as a mercy, his gentleness and compassion

Section 16: The integrity of the Prophet, his honesty in contracts and uprightness in maintaining family ties

Section 17: The humility of the Prophet

Section 18: The justice of the Prophet, his trustworthiness, decency and truthfulness

Section 19: The dignified composure of the Prophet, his silence, contemplation, natural refinement and excellent disposition

Section 20: The refraining of the Prophet from worldly things

Section 21: The Prophet's fear of Allah, his obedience and the intensity of his worshipping Allah

Section 22: The qualities of the Prophets

Section 23: The qualities of the Prophet as described by Abi Hala ibn al-Hassan, the grandson of the Prophet

 

Section 1: Introduction

 

There is a connection between the aforesaid and to things necessary to one's daily life, for example, food, sleep, clothing, home, marriage, property or rank. Such matters can be connected to the Everlasting Life if one's intention is related to the fear of Allah and educating one's body to pursue the Path of Allah, even though all are defined and governed by Islamic law as being necessities. Qualities that are acquired and relate to the Everlasting life include virtues as well as manners prescribed by Islamic Law, religious practices, knowledge, tolerance, patience, gratitude, justice, self-restraint, humility, pardon, chastity, generosity, courage, modesty, gallantry, silence, contemplation, companionship and such like qualities all of which can be characterized as being a "good character".

For some these qualities are inherent, or a natural temperament whereas they are not found in others and therefore they have to work to acquire them, however, there are some qualities that must exist to form the foundation of one's nature, and Allah willing (inshaAllah), these will be clarified shortly. The consensus of many scholars is that such qualities are deemed as being of a "good and virtuous character" even when the intention is not for Allah and the Everlasting Life. Why a person has these qualities is a subject for debate amongst scholars. When a person is known to have been blessed with one or two of these noble qualities, that person, no matter whether he/she has passed away or is alive, is considered to be a person of note and consequently used as a role model, because of his endearing qualities and this in turn causes him to be respected and honoured. When a person is blessed with an uncountable abundance of perfection and nobility, it is impossible to even try to express the extent of his worth by one's tongue. And one must know that such qualities are only possible as a gift from Allah, the Almighty.

This is exactly the gift bestowed on Prophet Mohammed (peace and blessing be upon him) and includes to list but a few, his Prophethood, being chosen for the conveyance of His message, close friendship with Allah, the receivership of His love, the Night Journey in which he was blessed with a vision of Allah, nearness, revelation, intercession, mediation, completion of all virtues, high rank, the praiseworthy station, the winged mount Burack,

the accession, being sent for all humanity, being the leader of all the other prophets in prayer together with his witnessing over them and mastery over all the descendants of Prophet Adam, being the bearer of the Banner of Praise, the bringer of good news and warning, his status before the Owner of the Throne, obedience, bearer of the trust, guidance, being sent as a mercy to all the worlds, the receiver of the pleasure of Allah that permits him to ask of Him when all of creation are silenced, the pool of Kawthar, being heeded, the perfection of praising him, being in the status of pardon that covers both past and future actions, the expanding of his chest, the removal of his burden, the elevation of his eminence, being helped with a mighty victory, the sending of down of tranquility, the support of angels, his conveyance of the Quran and Wisdom together with the seven duals, the purification of his nation, his inviting to Allah, the praise and veneration of Allah, and His angels upon him, his judgement established on what was given to him by Allah, his removal of the shackles and burden from his nation, the swearing of Allah by his name, the answering of his supplications, the speech of not only the inanimate but animals to him, the miracles of water that flowed from his finger tips, the increase of small amounts to that of plenty, the dividing of the moon, the delaying of the sun set, the transformation of items, given the help of casting terror, his knowledge of the Unseen, the shade of the clouds, the exaltations of the pebbles, his healing and his protection from the enemies of Islam.

The preceding are but a minute taste of uncountable blessings that adorn our Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) and knowledge of his fine qualities can only be contained by someone who is given it, and it is Allah alone who is the Giver because there is no god except Him. In addition to this there are honourable ranks, degrees of purity, happiness, the excellence and increase of the Bounty of Allah that lie in store for him in the Everlasting Life-these are to numerous to be counted and are far beyond the grasp of anyone's intellect and mystify the imagination.

Section 2: The description of the Prophet's physic

 

It is impossible to turn a blind eye to the fact that Prophet Mohammed, praise and peace be upon him, is by far the most worthy and the greatest of all mankind, and that he is the most perfect of all, adorned with the most excellent virtues and qualities. In this section Judge Iyyad embarks upon detailing the perfection of the Prophet's physical attributes and supplicates "May Allah illumine my heart and yours, and increase our love for this noble Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him)." He then reminds the reader of the fact that the Prophet's qualities were not acquired rather, they were gifted to him by the Creator.

His physical description and character have been reported by many of his Companions and we are told that he was the most handsome man ever created, surpassing the beauty of Prophet Joseph for whom the women of the city cut their hands, ”When she heard of their sly whispers, she sent for them and prepared a banquet. To each she gave a knife, (then called Joseph saying,) 'Come and attend to them.' When they saw him, they were so taken with him that they cut their hands, and said, 'Allah save us! This is no mortal, he is no other but a noble angel!' 12.21.

The complexion of Prophet Mohammed (peace and blessing be upon him) was radiant. His eyes were black, deep, widely set, and naturally mascaraed with a slight tinge of pink, accentuated by long eyelashes. His nose was distinctive and his teeth evenly spaced. His face was round with a broad forehead. His beard was thick and reached his chest. As for his chest and abdomen they were equal in size and his shoulders were broad as was his

chest. His bones were large as were his arms. The palms of his hands were thick as were the soles of his feet. His fingers were long and his skin tone fair. The hair between his chest and navel was fine. He was of medium stature, however, when a tall person walked by his side the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) appeared to be the taller. As for his hair it was neither curly nor straight and when he laughed his teeth were visible like a flash of lightning, or, they have been described as white as hailstones. His neck was balanced, neither broad nor fat, as for his body it was firm and did not lack firmness in any limb.

The following sayings are but a fraction of the multi narrations of the Companion's description of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) although they are but a sampling, they are sufficient to convey the perception of his handsomeness. Everyone who met him said they had never seen anyone like him. In the forthcoming sections we will, if Allah wills, report even more. When the Companion al-Bara saw a lock of the Prophet's hair resting on his red robe he commented, "I have never seen anyone with a more beautiful lock of hair than his resting on a red robe." Abu Hurayra, said, "I have never seen anyone more handsome than the Messenger of Allah, it was as though the sun was shining upon his face and when he laughed it reflected from the wall."

Someone asked Jabir, Samura's son, "Was his face like a sword (meaning white and shinning)?" He replied, "No, it was like the sun and the moon, and round." Umm Ma'bad, the lady from whom the description of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) was more profuse, said, "Even from a distance he was the most beautiful of people, and as he drew near it was apparent that he was the most handsome." Abi Hala's son said, "His face glowed like the full moon." Imam Ali, may Allah honour his face, said at the end of his description of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) "Anyone who came upon him by chance became filled with timidity towards of him and those who kept company with him loved him."

 

Section 3: The Prophet's cleanliness

 

The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) said, ”The religion is based on cleanliness." The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) was blessed by Allah with the extra special quality of being free from all forms of uncleanliness and bodily defects. These qualities were special for him and no one else has ever been privileged with such qualities. When the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) was born he was already circumcised and his umbilical cord cut. His mother Lady Amina (may Allah be satisfied with her) tells us, "He was clean when he was born and there was no trace of impurity upon him." The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) was adorned with the sweetest of fragrances, as was his perspiration. Anas commented, "I have never smelled amber, musk or any other (perfume) more fragrant than the aroma of the Messenger of Allah."

One day the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing be upon him) touched the cheek of Jabir, Samura's son and Jabir said, "I felt a cool sensation and his hand was fragrant, it was as if he had withdrawn it from a sachet of perfume. Jabir also said, "When the Prophet walked down a road, anyone who happened to pass along the same road knew he had been there on account of his fragrance." On another occasion Jabir rode behind the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) and put his mouth upon the seal of his prophecy between his shoulders and its fragrance spread over him like musk. It was also reported that even if he had perfumed his hand or not, if he shook the hand of a man the fragrance would remain for the rest of the day. When the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) placed his hand on the head of a child, the child was recognizable from amongst other children by its fragrance.

The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) visited the house of Anass and fell asleep on a rug and perspired. When Anas's mother noticed the perspiration she fetched a long necked bottle into which she collected the drops of perspiration. Later, the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing be upon him) inquired about it, whereupon she replied, "We mixed it with our perfume and it is the most fragrant of scents." Even when the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) relieved himself, it is reported that the earth would split open and swallow his discharge and there remained a fragrant aroma. Lady Aisha, Mother of Believers (may Allah be satisfied with her) said to the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) "When you return after relieving yourself, there is nothing offensive about you." He replied, "O Aisha, don't you know that the earth swallows up what is discharged from the prophets so that nothing is seen?"

When the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) passed away, Imam Ali (may Allah be satisfied with him) washed his body and said, "I washed the Prophet, and looked for the normal discharge from a deceased person but found nothing, whereupon I said, 'You were pure during your life and pure in death.'" He added, "A sweet aroma exuded from him, the like of which I have never experienced." Upon kissing the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) after his death, Abu Bakr also mentioned the sweetness of his aroma. On the day of Uhud the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) suffered a slight injury, whereupon he permitted Malik Sinan ibn remove the blood which he then swallowed. The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) told him, "The Fire will not touch you."

On another occasion, the Prophet's blood was cupped, whereupon Abdullah, Zubair's son swallowed it. The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) did not object to what he had done but said, "Woe to you from the people and woe to the people from you." The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) kept a wooden bowl under his bed in which, if he felt the need, he could urinate during the night. One night a lady by the name of Baraka, (scholars differ whether or not she is the same Baraka who served the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him)), felt thirsty and upon seeing the cup drank the urine without knowing. There were also similar occurrences in which his urine was drunk, when the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) learned of it he did not order the washing of their mouth nor did he forbid them to do it again. One should understand that when ordinary people drink water it cleanses them, so their output is unclean. In the case of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) the liquid that left his body was clean, because he was pure in both body and physic therefore whatever came from his bodily was pure and contained the effect of blessings, therefore due to this, the output from his body was sweeter and the drinker did not taste any urine as they would do so with anyone else. On several occasions the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) told his Companions "Allah feeds me and gives me to drink."

Lady Aisha (may Allah be satisfied with her) said, "I never saw the private parts of the Messenger of Allah"(peace and blessing be upon him). The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) asked Imam Ali to ensure that no one other than himself should wash him (his covered body after his death). He told him, "No one has ever seen me naked, and if it were to happen he would become blind." Abbas' son said that as the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) slept he heard him breathing deeply. He woke up to pray but did not make ablution. Ikrima said, "That was because he was protected by Allah and when he slept his eyes were closed but his heart and internal being were not in the status of sleep, therefore he would make ablution only when it was needed. The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) said, "My eyes sleep but my heart does not."

 

Section 4: The Prophet's intellect, eloquence and astuteness

 

The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) was gifted by Allah with the most excellent intellect. He was astute and his senses were acute, as for his speech he was by far the most eloquent. There is no doubt that these qualities were unsurpassable. The superiority of his intellect and depth of understanding become evident when one reflects upon the way in which he administered not only the internal affairs of his nation but also external affairs-no matter whether they were the affairs of just ordinary people or those of the chieftains of society. His ability was truly amazing, and his life exemplary coupled with profound knowledge that simply flowed from him and the way in which, without previous instruction, experience, or reading directed him to carry out and fulfil the Laws of Allah.

Wahb, Munabbih's son, who was well educated said, "From my readings it has been has become evident that if all the intelligence of humanity, from the first to the last, were to be gathered as one, it would be in comparison to the intelligence of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) as a single grain of sand." Allah says, "and when you turn among those who prostrate themselves" 26:219. The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) told his Companions, "I see the one behind my neck just as I see the one before me." Mujahid explained when the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing be upon him) arose from prayer he could see everyone behind him, just as if they were in front of him." Regarding the eyesight of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) Baki, Mukhallad's son informs us, "The Prophet, could see just as well in the dark as he could see in the light."

In the references of authentic prophetic sayings that tell of the ability of his sight one finds many reports of his seeing angels and devils. When the Negus of Abyssinia passed away he was able to see him whereupon he prayed the absent funeral prayer upon him, and before seeing him the Angel Gabriel came to inform him of his passing. Although the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) was far from Jerusalem, he saw the city and described it to the Quraysh. And as he was building the Mosque in Medina the Kaaba was visible to him. His clear-sightedness permitted him to see the eleven stars in the Pleiades. This phenomenon was also amongst the special blessings gifted by Allah to the other prophets. Abu Hurayra heard the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) say, "When Allah, directed glory near Prophet Moses, Moses was able to see an ant on a stone a distance of thirty miles away."

So imagine what Prophet Mohammed (peace and blessing be upon him) was able to see of spiritual affairs and ranks! No one can deny this attribute after the Prophet's (peace and blessing be upon him) Night Ascent when he received the special favor of seeing one of the greatest signs of his Lord. Abu Rukana, known for his incredible strength wrestled with the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing be upon him) three times and each time Abu Rukana was defeated, after which the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) invited him to Islam. As for his gait, Abu Hurayra said, "I never saw anyone walk more swiftly than the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing be upon him). It was as if the earth rolled up for him, we would be exhausted but there were no signs of weariness upon him at all." It is also reported that when he walked, it was as if he were coming down a slope. His laugh was that of a broad smile. When he turned to face someone, he would look at them directly.

 

Section 5: The perfection of the Prophet's speech

 

There are many reports of the Prophet's mastery of the Arabic tongue together with his eloquence and fluency of speech. When he spoke he was very concise and expressed things clearly. His speech was well structured, free from all affectation and he used sound meanings. He was adept in all the different dialects of Arabia and able to converse with each community using their own colloquial expressions. When they debated or argued with him he replied using their regular phrasing, and there were several occasions when his Companions were unable to understand what he said and requested him to explain. The way in which he spoke to the Quraysh of Mecca and the Ansar of Medina, or the people of the Hijaz or Najd was different from the way in which he spoke to Dhul Mishar al-Hamdhani, Tahfah al-Handi, Katan, Haritha al-Ulaymi's son, al-Ashath, Kays' son, Wail, Hujr al-Kindi's son and other chieftains of the Hadramat and the kings of Yemen.

As for his everyday speech, famous speeches, statements and sayings, volumes have been written about them together with references containing their words and an explanation of their meanings. The eloquence of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) is unequal and demonstrated in the following sampling: "People are like the teeth of comb." "A man is with the one he loves," "There is no good in company that does not show you what you show them." "People are like mines of gold and silver. The best of you in the 'Time of Ignorance' is the best of you in Islam, if they understand (the Islamic Law)." "A man who knows his own worth is not destroyed." "Allah shows mercy to His worshipper who speaks well and gains, or who remains silent and safe." "Become a Muslim and you will be safe, become a Muslim and Allah will give you your wage twice over." "Those among you I love most and those who will sit close to me on the Day of Resurrection are the best of you in character, who give shelter, and protect and Reconcile." "The two faced person has no status before Allah." "Gossiping is forbidden, as is excessive questioning, squandering property, forbidding gifts, disobedience to mothers and the burial of girls alive." "No matter where you are, fear Allah. Follow a bad action with one that is good because it erases (the bad). He created people with a good character." "The best affairs is the median way" "Answer the one you love with gentleness, lest one day he becomes the one who hates you." "On the Day of Resurrection, injustice will appear as darkness."

There are a multitude of examples (over 12000 authentic statements), these are but a few and one cannot fail to marvel and reflect upon the wisdom found within them. The Companions said to him, "We are unable to find anyone more eloquent than you." To this he replied, "How could it be otherwise, the Quran was revealed on my tongue, a clear Arabic tongue." It is reported that on another occasion, the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) told his Companions, "I am the most eloquent of Arabs since I am from the Quraysh and was raised among the children of Saad." The tribe of Saad was famous for their strength and purity of the Arabic language and this was coupled to the eloquence spoken in Mecca. All these elements were combined with Divine support that accompanies the Revelation and which no mortal can imitate. Umm Mabab said of him, "His speech was sweet and distinct without using too few words or an excess. It was as if his speech consisted of threaded pearls. His very melodic voice penetrated."

 

Section 6: The nobility of the Prophet's lineage, his honoured birthplace, and his upbringing

 

The lineage of Prophet Mohammed (peace and blessing be upon him) was from the best of the children of Hashim and the noble fabrics of the Quraysh. He was descended from the most noble and mighty Arabs not only on his father's side but also on his mother's.

Referring to the blessing of his nobility the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) told Abu Hurayra "I was sent from the best of each consecutive generation of the children of Adam until I appeared in the generation in which I am from."

There are many Prophetic sayings reported by the Companions, the following are a selection: Al-Abbas tells us that the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) said, "Allah created the Creation and from the best of their generations He placed me among the best of them. Then He selected the tribes and placed me among the best tribe. Thereafter, He selected families and placed me among the best of them. I am the best of them in person and the best of them in family." Waila Aska's son tells of the time the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) spoke of his lineage saying, "Allah chose Ishmael from the children of Abraham, and from the children of Ishmael He chose the children of Kinana, then from the children of Kinana Allah chose the Quraysh and chose the children of Hashim from the Quraysh, then Allah chose me from the children of Hashim." We are told by Omar's son that the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) said "Allah, the Mighty, the Glorified chose from His creation the children of Adam. Then from the children of Adam He chose the Arabs. Thereafter He chose from the Arabs the Quraysh. Then He chose from the Quraysh and from them He choose the children of Hashim. From the children of Hashim He chose me, and I am the best of the best. Whosoever loves the Arabs loves them because he loves of me. Whosoever hates Arabs hates them because he hates me."

Abbas' son said that the spirit of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) was a light in the hands of Allah two thousand years before He created Adam. That light exalted Him and by this light the angels exalted Allah, and when Allah created Adam, He cast that light into his loins. He also tells us that the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) said, "Allah brought me down to earth in the loins of Adam, then He placed me in the loins of Noah and thereafter cast me into the loins of Abraham. Allah proceeded to move me from one noble loin and pure womb to another until He brought me out of my parents. None of them were ever joined together in fornication."

 

Section 7a: The daily life of the Prophet

 

The necessities of one's daily life can be categorized as being of three kinds:

  1. That which is excellent in small quantities
  2. That which is excellent in large quantities
  3. That which varies according to the situation

Being satisfied with a little has been acclaimed by scholars and sages alike as being excellent. Having an excess of anything is an indication of greed, covetousness and gluttony. Excess leads to harm in this life and in the Everlasting Life. Take for example the consumption of excessive food and drink, overindulgence cultivates illness, causes coarseness in the self and dulls the intellect. When one is satisfied with a little it is an indication of contentment and self-control. The same can be said of excessive sleep, it is an indication of weakness, lack of intelligence and sharpness. The result is that of laziness, squandering one's life in useless pursuits, hard-heartedness, neglect, and this leads to the death of one's heart. Ample proof is found in the sayings of the Prophet, praise and peace be upon him and in observation from the sages of bygone eras. These proofs will not be mentioned in full since the knowledge they contain is well known, instead it will be summarized.

The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) was the most abstemious of men and encouraged his followers to be satisfied with a little. Al-Mikdam, Madikarib's son reported that he said "The son of Adam does not fill any container worse than his belly. A little is sufficient for the son of Adam to keep his back straight. If there must be more, then a third for his food, a third for his drink and a third for his breath." The result of excessive consumption of food and drink is excessive sleep. Sufyan Thawri observed, "By partaking in only a little food one is then able to stay awake during the night." Another advised, " Do not eat of a lot so that you drink a lot, then sleep a lot and lose a lot." Lady Aisha, wife of the Prophet (may Allah be satisfied with her) described the habit of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) saying. "He never filled his stomach completely. He neither asked his family for food, neither did he desire it. If they fed it to him then he ate. Whatever they served him he accepted and he drank whatever he was given."

Luqman, known for his wisdom (and mentioned in the Quran) said to his son, "My son, when the intestines are full, contemplation sleeps, wisdom is dulled and limbs hesitate and weaken in worship." Sahnun said, "Knowledge does not befit someone who eats until he is replete." The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) told his Companions, "I, myself do not eat seated in a reclining posture" or sitting cross legged or in a comfortable manner. When the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) sat, he sat in a squatting position as if he was going to get up. When the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) slept it was but a little. He said, "My eyes sleep, but my heart does not sleep." When he slept, he slept on his right side so that his sleep would be shallow. Sleeping on the left side is easier on the heart and one's organs as they incline to the left side. When one sleeps on the right side, there is a tendency to wake up quickly and is not overcome by deep slumber.

 

Section 7b: Marriage and related issues

 

The second praiseworthy category of necessity is that which is excellent in large quantities, and this category includes such matters as marriage and rank. It is praiseworthy for a man to have more than one wife, referring to the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) Abbas' son said, "The best of this community is the one with the most wives (also reported is "the best of this community is she who gives birth)." The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) forbade celibacy because marriage protects appetites from straying, and said, "Whosoever is able to marry should marry, it lowers the eyes and protects the private parts." It is for this reason that the scholars of Islam say that it is not a matter that detracts from the virtue of abstinence.

When one examines the examples of the Companions, it is found that the most abstemious among them had wives and were sexually active with them and those whom their right hand possessed. Many disliked the thought of meeting Allah unmarried. The question has been raised, "How can marriage be so virtuous when Allah praised, Prophet John, son of Prophet Zachariah for being chaste? And how is it that Allah praised him for not doing something that is considered to be a virtue. In addition, Prophet Jesus, son of Mary also remained celibate. If it is as you say, would they have married?" In answer to this question indeed Allah praised Prophet John for being chaste, and it was not, as someone once said, that he was weak or not masculine. This derogatory remark has been rejected by knowledgeable scholars and perceptive commentators on the grounds that it implies imperfection and fault, neither of these characteristics befit any of the prophets of Allah. What it does mean is that (in his state of celibacy) he was protected from wrong actions, it is also said that he was detached from all bodily desires and had no desire.

From this it is understood that marriage is a desirable virtue whereas there is an imperfection in those who are able to marry but do not. The inability to marry may be counteracted with the virtue of striving. Prophet Jesus was perfect and strove. In the case of Prophet John, he was given sufficiency from Allah. Marriage frequently distracts one from the remembrance of Allah when this is so a person is attached to the world. There are those who marry and fulfil the obligations of marriage without being distracted from the remembrance of Allah and these people attain a high rank before Allah. This high rank is found in Prophet Mohammed (peace and blessing be upon him) who had several wives but was never distracted from his worshipping. Rather, it increased him in worship because he protected his wives, gave them their rights, provided for them and guided them to the worship of Allah.

The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) said, "Allah caused me to love women and perfume in this world of yours, but the coolness of my eye (my delight) is in prayer." What he implied was that whereas other people have the love of women and perfume, for them such matters belong to worldly affairs, however his involvement with them was not for this worldly life but rather for the Everlasting Life because he was anxious to be wearing perfume when he met angels. Above these worldly affairs, his passion which was distinctly for him, was the witnessing of the angelic hosts of his Lord and the closeness of conversation with Him. It is for this reason that he made a distinction between the two loves by separating the two conditions in his saying "and the delight of my eye is in prayer."

There is, however, an extra virtue the satisfaction of satisfying a wife's need. The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) was given an abundance of this ability and would visit all of his wives in the same hour. Anas and his companions concluded that he had been given the power of thirty men. Others such as Tawas said, "In the matter of sexual intercourse, the Prophet was endowed with the power of forty men." After having visited each wife he would take a purification bath before going to the next and said, "This is better and purer." Prophet Solomon and Prophet David were endowed with the same ability. Prophet Solomon said, "During the night I visited a hundred or ninety-nine women. Abbas' son said, "In the loins of Solomon there was the semen of a hundred men, and he had three hundred wives and three hundred whom the right hand possesses." It has also been reported that he had seven hundred wives. As for Prophet David, he had ninety-nine wives.

Prophet Mohammed (peace and blessing be upon him) was sent during a time in which it was common-place to have forty wives. He reduced the number of wives a man could have to four, and made it conditional when marrying more than one that justice must prevail and each should be evenly treated, if this cannot be established, then a man should only marry one wife. Anas reported that the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) said, "I have been preferred over my nation in four things-generosity, courage, abundance of sexual intercourse and great power."

The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) was a modest person. Even in the hearts of those who rejected, injured him and his Companions or tried in secrecy to harm him he was well regarded. When he met them face to face they became respectful and gave him what he requested. There are many reports of the experiences of people who met him, when Kayla saw him she began to tremble on account of timidity but he calmed her gently saying, "Poor girl, you must be calm." The father of Masood reported that a man came before the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) and started to tremble, but the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) straight away put him at ease saying, "Relax, I am not a king."

 

Section 7c: The way in which the Prophet dealt with money and commodities

 

 

The third category is that which varies according to the situation. Its praiseworthiness and excellence vary according to circumstances and includes the accumulation of wealth. When a person uses his wealth for pious reasons and spends it in charity seeking Allah and the Everlasting Life, then it is a virtue in the eyes of everyone upon all occasions. As for the person who chooses to withhold his wealth, regardless whether it is meager or abundant, misuses it and is anxious to amass more, then his wealth has become a cause for his imperfection, it has become worthless rather than a virtue. When this is the case his wealth does not save him, rather the opposite, and the vice of miserliness and meanness is attached to him.

Wealth can be a praiseworthy virtue, however, it does not lie in the actual amount of wealth, rather it lies in its proper use. If a person who has amassed a lot of wealth but uses it improperly he is not in the true sense affluent or a wealthy person, and therefore cannot be called praiseworthy. In fact he is deemed by scholars as being impoverished, as he does not realize any of his goals because he does not have control over them. He is like a treasurer in charge of someone else's property but he himself has no property, it is as if he owned nothing. The one who is truly affluent and wealthy is the one who spends it because he has acquired the beneficial virtue that accompany wealth, even after all has been spent.

Let us take a close look at the way in which Prophet Mohammed (peace and blessing be upon him) dealt with wealth. When one reads the story of his life, it is apparent that he was given the treasures of the world as well as the keys to lands. Before his advent, the spoils of war had been unlawful to other prophets and their followers, but to him and his followers Allah made them lawful. He opened the Hijaz, Yemen, all of Arabia as well as the areas bordering Syria and Iraq. He was brought a fifth of the spoils of war, the poll-tax as well as the obligatory charity, and kings gave him gifts. However, he neither kept the wealth for himself nor did he keep single coin for himself, he spent it all in the way of Allah, he was generous, enriched people and strengthened Muslims through its use.

His giving is illustrated in the following that occurred after the conclusion of the afternoon prayer in Medina. Utbah Harith's son said, "The moment the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) concluded the prayer he stood up quickly and went to one of his rooms, stepping over the shoulders of the worshipers. His haste made people curious. When he returned he realized that his followers were wondering what had called him away so urgently, so he told them, 'I remembered that I had a piece of silver (or gold) left and this disturbed me, but now I have arranged for its distribution.'" He also said, "I feel uncomfortable if a gold dinar remains with me overnight, unless it is a dinar I have set aside to repay a debt." There were occasions when he was given dinars and after their division a few were left over, when this was so he gave them to his wives. Once the dinars had been distributed he would say, "Now I can rest." When he passed away his armor was in pawn in order to provide food for his family. When it came to such things as clothing, housing and welfare, the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) was content with just what was necessary and went without. He wore whatever was at hand and dressed himself in either a cloak, a coarse garment, or a thick outer garment. When he was sent robes of brocade, or with embroidery he would give them to whosoever was in his company or send them to others because pride and adornment are not among the qualities of men of nobility and honour found in those close to Allah, rather, they are amongst the qualities of women.

The most praiseworthy of garments are those that are clean and are of medium quality. When one wears such clothes it does not detract from manliness nor does it lead to drawing attention to oneself which is by Islamic Law reproachable. The most common

cause of ostentation is that of flaunting an excess of clothing or wealth. The same is said of pride in a luxurious or a spacious home, or the acquisition of a lot of furnishings, servants or livestock. However, if a person has land, cultivates and harvests it and then restricts his consumption and gives away its produce that person has gained the virtue of his property, and should show his thanks for it. It is indeed praiseworthy to turn away from wealth, or be content with a little when none is left after having spent it in the correct manner.

 

Section 8: Praiseworthy qualities

 

Some praiseworthy qualities and noble manners that are acquirable: the consensus of scholars is that the person who has them is virtuous and even someone who has just one of them is highly respected. Some of these qualities have been described as being part of the qualities of Prophethood, but are more commonly known as being "of good character". A good character is comprised of having a balanced attitude, and the qualities of the self which is that of moderation not extremism. The perfect example of being well balanced is exemplified by the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) Allah praises him for this quality saying, "Surely, you (Prophet Mohammed) are of a great morality." 68:4. Lady Aisha, wife of the Prophet, Mother of Believers (may Allah be satisfied with her) described him saying, "His character was that of the Quran, He was pleased by that which it finds pleasing and angered by that which it finds hateful."

The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) informs us "I was sent to perfect the code of finest ethics." Anas observed and described him saying, "Of all people, the Messenger of Allah had the best character." The scholars of Islam concur that these noble qualities were within him from the instant of his creation. He neither acquired nor learned them, rather he received them through the generosity of His Lord as a special gift. Similar qualities are found Jesus, Moses, John and Solomon and all the other prophets of Allah. When one reflects upon their life from the time of their childhood and continuing throughout their Prophethood they are easily recognizable. These qualities were inherent within them and when they were created they were given both knowledge and wisdom.

Allah speaks of Prophet John saying, "'O John, hold fast to the Book' and We bestowed on him judgment while yet a child." 19:12. Scholars of Islam tell us that when Prophet John was a child Allah gave him knowledge of His Book. Mamar tells us that when John was only two or three years old the children asked him why he didn't play with them, he politely replied, "Was I created for playing games?" Allah also says to Prophet Zachariah, "Allah gives you glad tidings of John, who shall confirm a word from Allah." 3:39. When Prophet Jesus was three years old, Prophet John bore witness that Jesus was the word of Allah and His created spirit.

As Lady Mary was about to give birth Allah tells us, "He (Jesus) called to her from below: 'Do not sorrow, look, your Lord has provided a rivulet below you.'" 19:24. Scholars have said the "he" refers to Prophet Jesus. Prophet Jesus spoke when He was still in the cradle saying, "I am the worshiper of Allah. Allah has given me the Book and made me a prophet." 19:30. Allah says of Prophet Solomon, "We made Solomon to understand it, and to both (David and Solomon) We gave judgement and knowledge." 21:79. Solomon was given judgment when he was still a child. Reflect for a moment upon the well known stories of the woman who was about to be stoned, and the story of the disputed infant-Prophet David concurred with his judgement. Tabari said that he was twelve years of age when he became king. There is a similar story of Prophet Moses who, when he was an infant grabbed the beard of pharaoh.

The scholars of Islam explained the words of Allah "Before this We gave Abraham his virtue, for We knew him." 21:51. Allah guided him when he was young. Ata's son said that Allah chose him before He created him. It is also said that at the time of Abraham's birth, Allah sent an angel to him with the command to bear witness to Allah in his heart and to remember Allah with his tongue. Prophet Abraham replied, "I have done so." Note, he did not say "I will do so." This is the virtue given to him. It has been reported that Prophet Abraham sought proof in the planet, the moon and the sun when he was fifteen months old. Later at the age of sixteen Allah tested his faith as he was cast into the fire by the unbelievers. And that his son Prophet Ishmael was tested by his willingness to be sacrificed when he was seven years old and praise be to Allah (Al-Hamdulillah), he, despite his young age was strong in faith.

It has been transmitted that when, as a child, Prophet Joseph was cast into the well by his brothers Allah revealed to him, "You shall tell them of what they did when they are not aware (it is you). 12:15. The preceding are but a few examples, there are many others. Lady Amina, peace be upon her, daughter of Wahb, mother of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) said that when she gave birth to him he spread his tiny hands out to the earth and lifted is head heavenwards. The Prophet, himself (peace and blessing be upon him) tells us, "As I was growing up Allah made idols and poetry loathsome to me. I was not tempted by any of the practices of the 'Time of Ignorance' except on two occasions and Allah protected me from both, and I was never tempted by them again."

All the prophets had complete mastery over their affairs and the blessings of Allah encompassed them and the light of faith shone within their hearts enabling them to achieve their goal. They were able to achieve their goal because Allah had chosen them to be His prophets and endowed them with noble qualities, none of which were attained through either learning or discipline. Allah says, "And when he was full grown, and reached the perfection of his strength, We gave him judgment and knowledge." 28:14. There are people who have been created with some of these qualities, but not all of them. A person may be born with some of them and by the Favor of Allah it is made easy for him to complete them. No doubt you have seen children gifted by Allah with excellent manners, cleverness, honesty, truthfulness or generosity, and then there are others who have the reverse.

It is understood that people can acquire and complete the qualities they lack. This achievement is acquired through self-discipline, hard work and by balancing elements that need to be balanced. There is a difference of opinion regarding the aforesaid. Each of us is eased to that for which he has been created. The early generations of Muslims differ whether or not the qualities of one's character are inherent or acquired. al-Hassan al-Basri said, "In a worshiper of Allah a good character is inherent and a natural disposition." The Companion, Saad Abi Waqqas' son reported that the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) said, "The nature of a believer can have every kind of imperfection except that of treachery and lying." The Caliph, Omar said, "Courage and cowardice are natural qualities which Allah places wherever He wills." Praiseworthy qualities and noble attributes are numerous. However, it is our intention not to mention their basic principals but indicate to them, and if Allah wills, we will verify and establish the fact that the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) had all of these qualities.

 

Section 9: The intellect of the Prophet

 

Knowledge in all its forms is rooted in intellect. It is the source and nucleus from which knowledge and faith springs. Intellect produces a sharp understanding, clear perception, precise observation, sound opinion, awareness of what is best for one's self, striving in self-denial, judgment, management, the attainment of virtues and avoidance of vices. In previous sections we have drawn the reader's attention to indications of the Prophet's intellect and the tremendous depth of his knowledge, knowledge of which no other human being had, has or will ever possess and those who have taken the time to investigate his characteristics recognize and verify that the majesty of his rank is perfected.

Reflect upon his life, the wisdom of his sayings, his knowledge of the contents of not only the Torah but also the lost Gospel given to Prophet Jesus, the revealed Books, the wisdom of the sages, truth between falsehood, the history of bygone nations and their battles, his use of colloquialism, the division of inheritance, lineage, and their like which, if Allah wills, be made clear in the section illustrating his miracles. It is an established fact that our Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) could neither read nor write and it wasn't until Allah expanded his chest, clarified his affair, taught him and enabled him recite the Holy Quran, that he knew anything of these matters. These virtuous intellectual qualities were neither attained through tutored learning, instruction, or the reading of previous Holy Books.

His intellect caused him to be steadfast in the matters Allah taught him, and he became knowledgeable of not only past, but present and future events, and he became engrossed in the wonderment of the power of Allah and the enormity of His Angelic Hosts. Allah says, "Allah has sent down to you the Book and the Wisdom and He has taught you what you did not know. The Bounty of Allah to you is ever great." 4:113. When intellectuals attempt to assess the overflowing favors of Allah to him they fall into the state of bewilderment.

 

 

Section 10: The clemency, forbearance, patience, forgiveness and pardoning status of the Prophet

 

Amongst the multiple excellent manners of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) are clemency, forbearance, patience and forgiveness when it was expected that he might punish, and his patience during times of hardship. Clemency is the condition of dignity and constancy during provocation. Forbearance means being able to restrain oneself and enduring pain and injury. Patience has a similar meaning. Forgiving means declining to hold something against his violation. Allah says, "Accept the easing, order with fine jurisprudence, and avoid the ignorant." 7:199. When this verse was revealed to the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) he asked the Archangel Gabriel to expanded upon its meaning. Gabriel replied, "Wait until I ask the One who knows." Upon his return he said, "O Mohammed, Allah orders you to bond yourself with those who sever themselves from you and to give to those who refuse to give to you, and pardon those who are unjust to you."

Allah also conveyed to the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) the saying of Lokman to his son, "And bear patiently with whatever may fall upon you, indeed that is true constancy." 32:17. And, "Let them pardon and forgive." 24:22. Also, he who bears patiently and forgives-indeed that is true constancy." 42:43. Even the most clement amongst mankind has been known to lapse at one time or another. However, our Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) was not subject to lapse, in fact it was the reverse, his forbearance in times of adversity, even when intense, became more distinct, and when

those who opposed him tried their best to harm him in one way or another it only served to increase his forbearance.

Lady Aisha, wife of the Prophet, Mother of Believers (may Allah be satisfied with her) said, "Whenever the Messenger of Allah was given an option between two matters he always chose the easier of the two as long as it was not sinful. If it was sinful then he was the furthest of people from it. For himself he never took revenge, but if the honour of Allah had been violated he would take revenge for His sake." During the Battle of Uhud the Prophet's tooth was broken and he sustained an injury to his face. It was almost unbearable for the Companions to see him in such condition and they said, "If only you would supplicate for a curse against them!" But the reply of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) was, "I have not been sent to curse, rather I was sent as an inviter (to Allah) and as a mercy. O Allah guide my nation because they do not know." Upon seeing the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) bleeding, Omar said, "May my father and mother be your ransom! O Messenger of Allah, Noah supplicated against his nation when he said, "My Lord, do not leave a single unbeliever upon the earth." 71:26. If you had supplicated such a curse against us we would all have been destroyed. Your back has been trodden on, your face blooded, your tooth broken, yet you refuse to say anything except good. You said, 'O Allah guide my nation because they do not know.'"

Dear reader, observe the perfection of his graciousness, the virtuous rank (the internal and external perfection), the excellence of his character, his generosity, absolute patience and forbearance in his saying. Our Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) did not remain silent regarding them, instead he pardoned, showed compassion and mercy towards them, then interceded for them with a supplication. He said, 'guide' then apologized for their ignorance with the words, 'indeed, they do not know.' On another occasion a man accused the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) with unfairness and said, "Be fair, this is a division by which the Face of Allah is not desired!" It was indeed a provoking statement but the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) just drew his attention in a polite manner by admonishing him and reminding him, by saying, "Who will be fair if I am not fair? Indeed, I would fail and be lost if I did not act fairly." One of the Companions was outraged by the man's accusation and was about to strike him, but the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) intervened and stopped him.

Ghawrath, Harith's son and others were discussing a raid on Dhatur Rika where they planned to assassinate the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing be upon him). When they came across him they found him sitting under a tree. He did not prevent them from drawing near and as Ghawrath stood over him with a drawn sword in his hand he said, "Who will protect you from me!" The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) replied, "Allah" whereupon the sword fell from his hand and the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) took hold of it and said, "Who will protect you from me?" Ghawrath replied, "Punish me in the best manner" whereupon the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) arose and left him. When Ghawrath returned to his tribe he exclaimed, "I have come to you from the best of people!"

After the victory at Khybar, a Jewess poisoned the meat she had prepared for the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him). The meat spoke to him telling him that it had been poisoned and the woman confessed. Rather than punishing her he pardoned her. Another Jew proficient in the art of magic named of Labid al-Azam was approached by a fellow Jew to concoct a spell of deadly proportion to kill the rophet (peace and blessing be upon him). However, the angels informed him of his action and the cure was revealed to him. When he regained his strength, the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) neither reprimanded nor punished Labid.

Abdullah, Ubayy's son was amongst the hypocrites of Medina and despite the seriousness of his and their actions, coupled with the detrimental things they said against the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) he took no action against them even when an outraged Companion suggested that one of their number should be put to death, he turned to him and said, "No, do not let it be said that Mohammed kills his companions." Anas recalled an incident as he traveled with the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him). The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) was wearing a thick cloak when a Bedouin rode up to him and pulled his cloak so violently that it left a mark on the side of his neck. The Bedouin demanded, "Mohammed, let me load my two camels with the property of Allah you have in your possession. You will not let me load up with either your property or your fathers!" The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) remained silent for a while then said, "This is the property of Allah and I am His worshiper." He continued, "Shall I retaliate for your actions Bedouin?" The Bedouin replied, "No." Whereupon the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) asked "Why not?" The Bedouin replied, "Because you do not repay a bad action with a bad action!" The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) laughed and ordered one camel to be loaded with barley and the other with dates.

Lady Aisha, said, "I never saw the Messenger of Allah take revenge for an injustice inflicted upon him as long as it was not one of the orders of Allah which must be complied with. His hand never struck anyone unless it was during the course of a Holy War in the Name of Allah, and he never hit a servant or a woman." There was the time when a man was brought before the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) and he was informed, "This man wanted to kill you!" The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) replied, 'Do not fear, do not fear! Even though you wanted to do that, you would not have been given the power over me." Before the conversion of Zaid, Sana's son, who was a Jew, Zaid went to the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) and demanded the repayment of a debt. As he did he tugged at the Prophet's robe and pulled it from his shoulder, then seized him and proceeded to behave in an uncouth manner saying, "Children of Abdul Mutalib you are delaying!" Omar got up and chased him away and in doing so spoke harshly to him. The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) smiled and said, "Omar, both he and I need something from you. Order me to repay well and order him to ask for his debt well." Then he said, "I still owe him three." Dutifully, Omar ordered that Zaid be repaid and added to it twenty more on account of frightening him. Zaid converted to Islam saying, "Amongst the signs of his Prophethood were two that I had yet to see in him, they were forgiveness when he encountered quick-temperedness and extreme ignorance and this only increased him in clemency. I tested him in both and found both in him as he is described in the Torah."

There are numerous Prophetic sayings that portray his forbearance, and these are but a sampling. If you wish to learn more about these noble virtues you will find them in authentic references of the prophetic sayings together with multiple chains of transmitters. All narrate how he patiently handled the harshness, hardships and injury meted out to him during the era known as the "Time of Ignorance" by the Quraysh and thereafter Allah gave him power over them by causing him to be victorious. The Quraysh persisted even though they realized they were subject to being overcome and their hierarchy put to death. However the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) continuously pardoned and overlooked their actions and asked them, "What do you say I have done to you?" Their reply was, "Good, a generous brother and a generous nephew." Whereupon he replied with Prophet Joseph's saying to his erring brothers, "'Let no reproach be on you this day.' Go you are free."

Anas tells us "At the Dawn Prayer eight men from Tanim came intent on killing the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing be upon him). They were seized but the Messenger of Allah set them free. Allah sent down the verse "It was He who restrained their hands from you…" 48:24. Abu Sufyan and his companions were responsible for the martyring of the Prophet's uncle and many of his Companions. Despite the great loss and hurt, he Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) forgave him and treated him gently saying, "Isn't it about time you knew that there is no god except Allah?" Abu Sufyan replied, "May my father and mother be your ransom! How forbearing and generous you are in maintaining the ties of kinship!" It is a fact that he was the slowest of all people to anger and the easiest to please.

 

Section 11: The generosity and openhandedness of the Prophet

 

Generosity, benevolence, nobility and elite bountifulness each have a deeper meaning than at first glance and may be divided into many branches. For example, scholars say that benevolence is to gladly spend upon important and useful matters, it is also referred to as being courage and nobility. Nobility is spending freely thereby avoiding acquisition which is not a quality worthy of praise, spending freely is the opposite of miserliness. Bountifulness is to gladly release the repayment of a debt and is the opposite of ill-nature. Each of these noble qualities were apparent in the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) and there has never been, nor will be, anyone of equal characteristics. No one who ever met him described him as being otherwise. Jabir Abdullah's son tells us that when the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing be upon him) was asked for anything he never refused.

When it came to giving gifts Anas's son tells us that the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) was the most generous, and he was even more generous during Ramadan. When Gabriel came to him, he was more generous than even the wind which is sent. Anass related the story about a man who went to the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) and asked him to give him something. The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) gave him the herds of sheep grazing between two mountains. Upon his return to his tribe he declared, "Become a Muslim! Mohammed gives the gift of a man who does not fear poverty!"

It is known that he gave a hundred camels to many people. To Safwan he first gave a hundred then two hundred more. This generous characteristic was well known even before he was entrusted to deliver the Message. Waraka, Nawfal ibnld him, "You bear all and accomplish what others are denied." Upon the defeat of the tribe of Hawazim, rather than keeping the six hundred captives he returned them all to their tribe. Abbas was given so much gold that he could not carry it. Then there was the time when 90,000 dirham were brought to him whereupon he placed them on a mat, and distributed all. He never turned down the request of anyone until there was none left to give away.

Another time a man came to him and asked to give him something. The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) had nothing to give but rather than let the man return empty handed he said, "I do not have anything, but buy something on my account and I will pay for it when I get some money." Omar was present and said, "Allah has not commanded you to do what you are unable to do." The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) was not predisposed to the remark, whereupon a man from the Ansar said, "O Messenger of Allah, spend! Do not fear decrease from the Owner of the Throne!" Upon hearing this, the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) smiled and his pleasure could be seen on his face. Then he said, "This is what I am commanded."

Muawwidh Afra's son brought the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) a plate of fresh dates and cucumber, and the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) gave him a handful of gold and jewelry. Anass tells us that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing be upon him) never kept anything of wealth for the following day. Abu Hurayra narrates the occasion when a man came to visit the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) to ask about a certain matter. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing be upon him) had borrowed half a local weight of measure (wasq) from him and the man had come to be repaid, however the Prophet gave him extra and said, "Half is for the repayment and the other half is a gift." There many reports similar to these that depict his generosity and bountifulness.

 

Section 12: The courage and bravery of the Prophet

 

Courage and bravery are two more virtues apparent in the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him). Courage is a virtue, a component of which is doing the right thing without fearing the consequences being controlled by one's intellect and wisdom. Bravery is a praiseworthy virtue and overcomes fear of harm to one's self. An example is when one engages in combat despite the odds being against oneself. There were many occasions when the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) encountered perilous situations however he never faltered and remained steadfast despite the circumstances even when the most courageous and heroic of his Companions retreated. Once he had decided to advance he was never seen to either retreat or waver, there has never in the history of mankind been a person so brave.

The encounter at Hunain was one of the fiercest battles, and one in which the yet to be converted tribesmen of Mecca joined forces with the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) to defend their City. The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) told his followers if they remained steadfast victory would be theirs. However, the enemy took the army of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) by surprise and chaos reined as those of the Quraysh who were yet to believe took flight and caused panic. When asked about the battle al-Bara replied, "The Messenger of Allah did not flee, I saw him riding his white mule with Abu Sufyan holding its reins, and he said, 'I am the Prophet, this is no lie.'" al-Abbas was heard to say, "When the Muslims and the unbelievers met, the Muslims turned in retreat. I tried to hold his mule back, not wanting it rush whilst Abu Sufyan walked briskly by his saddle as the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) called out, 'O Muslims!'" Others observed there was none fiercer than he on that day.

Ali said, "We were concerned for the Messenger of Allah when there were fierce, dangerous encounters, and fear was intense. However, there was no one closer to the enemy than he. I was near him and saw him on the Day of Badr, and he was at the forefront against the enemy. He was the bravest of all on that day." It has been said that just by the virtue of the fact that a Companion was near the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) when they encountered the enemy, that person was blessed with the virtue of being brave. Ubayy, Khalaf's son had been taken captive at the Battle of Badr and then ransomed and was bent on taking his revenge against the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him). In his hatred he threatened the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) saying, "I have a horse and each day I feed it several measures of wheat. I will kill you, if I am riding him!" The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) replied, "If Allah wills, I will kill you." Sometime after, during the Battle of Uhud the occasion presented itself and Ubayy cried out, "Where is Mohammed? May I not survive if he survives!" When Ubayy spotted the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) he galloped towards him and some Muslims tried to prevent

him from reaching the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) but the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) said, "Leave him" and took hold of al-Harith's spear and shook it in such a manner that those around him dispersed in the same way as flies fly off the back of a camel when it shakes itself. Then the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) just scratched Ubayy's neck with the point of the spear and he lost his balance and fell from his horse. The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) took no further action and Ubay remounted and returned to his camp crying out, "Mohammed has killed me!" Those who attended him back at the camp replied, "There is nothing wrong with you!" He replied, "Anyone would be killed by that which I have received! Didn't he say, 'I will kill you?' By Allah, even if he had spat at me, his spittle would have killed me." Ubayy died shortly after on his return to Mecca at a place called Sarif. Many of the Companions attested to the greatness of his courageous and brave virtues.

 

Section 13: The modesty of the Prophet and lowering of his gaze

 

The modesty of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) is unparalleled and is yet another of his excellent virtues. Modesty is that which causes a person to turn his face away from a matter when something dislikeable occurs, or to leave something alone when it is best left undone. Lowering of one's gaze is to restrain one's eyes from something one finds disagreeable or has the element of temptation. Commenting upon the shyness of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) Abu Sayeid al-Khudri said, "The Messenger of Allah was more modest than a cloistered virgin. When he disliked something, it was easily discernable upon him face." The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) was extremely sensitive, his modesty and generosity prevented him from saying or thinking of anything that a person would dislike to hear.

Lady Aisha, Mother of Believers, may Allah be pleased with her said, "When the Prophet heard something he disliked about someone, he would not say, 'What do you think about so-and-so doing or saying this?' Rather he would say, 'What do you think about a people who do such a thing or say this?' so he could forbid it without mentioning the name of the person who had done it." Anas tells us of the occasion when a man went to the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) with traces of saffron on him. However, he did not say anything to him because it was not his habit to confront anyone with something he disliked. When the man left, the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) asked one of his Companions to either ask him to wash if off or remove it.

Lady Aisha also tells us that the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) was not vulgar neither did he use obscene language. In the market place he neither shouted nor repaid evil with evil, and that his disposition was to forgive and overlook. The son of Salaam and Abdullah, Abbas' son who were both knowledgeable of the Torah and commented that the Torah mentions these qualities would be found in the awaited Prophet. Another facet of his modesty is that he would never stare directly at someone's face. When someone was persistent he addressed them in an affectionate, respectful way with the familiar expression "father or mother of so-and-so."

 

Section 14: The goodness of the Prophet's companionship, his manners and nature

 

One finds multiple reports of the good companionship of the Prophet, praise and

peace be upon him, his excellent manners and cheerfulness to all peoples. Ali described him as being the most generous and truthful of people as well as being the most lenient.

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing be upon him) went to visit the family of Kays, who was the son of Saad. When it was time for him to leave the father of Saad brought him a donkey with a saddle-cloth whereupon the Prophet, praise and peace be upon him mounted. Then the father of Saad said to Kays, "Accompany the Messenger of Allah." So the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) invited Kays to ride with him saying "Ride in front of me, the owner is more entitled to be in front." With respect, Kays politely declined and the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) departed.

It was customary for the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) to draw people to him, he never drove them away. When people embraced Islam he honoured their hierarchy by letting them retain their previous position over their fellow tribesmen. Although he was always cheerful and well mannered with people he was cautious and careful. He paid particular attention to his Companions and spared time for them and whosoever of them was in his company thought that none had been more honoured than he. Whenever someone either came to him, sat down with him or asked for something he was always patient, and was never the first to take his leave of their company. His nature was to give those who asked or say a kind word to them. He was like a father to them and his fine nature embraced all.

Abi Hala's son described him as always cheerful with an easy disposition. The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) was gentle rather than off-handed. He was never rude nor did he raise his voice. He was neither obscene nor did he find fault, and he did not over compliment. He left food that he did not want and never complained about it. Allah says, "It was by that Mercy of Allah that you dealt so leniently with them. Had you been harsh and hard-hearted, they would have surely deserted you." 3:159 and, "Good and evil deeds are not equal. Repel with that which is most just and see, the one whom there is enmity between you will be as if he were a loyal guide." 41:34.

The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) never refused and invitation and accepted a gift even it if was as little as a sheep's foot, and he would in return reward its giver with more and supplicate for him. Anass served the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing be upon him) for ten years and during that time he never said "Huh" to him nor did he ask, "Why did you do it?" or, "Why didn't you do it?" Lady Aicha (may Allah be satisfied with her) spoke of the Prophet's character saying, "No one had a better character than the Messenger of Allah. Whenever a Companion or a member of his household called him, he replied, 'Indeed, with pleasure.'"

Jabir Abdullah's son said of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) "Ever since I became a Muslim, the Messenger of Allah never distanced himself from me and whenever he saw me he would smile." The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) would mix and joke with his Companions and play with their children. He allowed them to enter and sit in his room and accepted the invitation of a free person, those in servitude and the very poor. He would visit the sick even those on the outskirts of the City and accept the excuse of anyone who offered an excuse. Whenever someone spoke in the ear of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) he would never move his head away until the person moved his, and when anyone shook his hand, he was never the first to let go. He never placed his feet in the face of anyone thereby complying with the etiquette of the desert Arabs. When he met someone he was always the first to greet them, likewise he shook the hands of his Companions first. He never stretched his legs so that his Companions felt cramped. Whenever someone visited him the visitor was treated with honour. Many were the times he would spread out his robe or offer the cushion he was sitting on to someone, and, if the person declined, he would insist upon his visitor to accept the invitation. It was his nature

to prefer the needs of others to that of his own. To his Companions he gave endearing names, and honoured them by calling them by the best of their names.

As for his conversation he never cut a person short, and it was only when that person had finished speaking that he would get up. It has been reported that if someone should happen to come to him while he was praying a voluntary prayer-in which his habit was to enlong the recitation of the Quran-he would shorten his recitation and inquire as to their need, thereafter he would return to his prayer. He smiled a lot and was very cheerful, except when verses of the Quran were being revealed, or when he was warning, or giving a sermon. Anass tells us that the water bearers of Medina, seeking blessings, would bring their water containers to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing be upon him) in the morning and he would dip his hand in the containers even when the weather was cold.

 

Section 15: The Prophet being sent as a mercy, his gentleness and compassion

 

Allah says, "Indeed, there has come to you a Messenger from your own, he grieves for your suffering, and is anxious about you, and is gentle, merciful to the believers." 9:128 and speaks of Prophet Mohammed (peace and blessing be upon him) saying, "We have not sent you except as a mercy to all the worlds." 21:107. His gentle disposition, concern and mercy encompassed every sector of creation. Part of his excellence is that Allah adorned him with two of His Names when He said, "and is gentle, merciful." Shehab's son reported that after Hunain, the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing be upon him) gifted Safwan, Umayyah's son one hundred camels to which he added a further hundred. He also reported that Safwan, who had hated the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) more than anyone else was given so much by the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) that his heartturned to him and he swore by Allah that the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) had become more beloved to him than anyone else.

Abu Hurayra tells us of the occasion when a Bedouin went to the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) and asked him to give him something and was given a gift. The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) asked, "Have I been good to you?" The Bedouin was ungratefully dissatisfied and replied, "No, you have not, you have not done well!!" Upon hearing this impertinent remark the Companions became angry and were about to rise up against him but the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) indicated that they should not do so and went into his home to fetch another gift and gave it to the Bedouin. He then inquired, "Have I been good to you?" The Bedouin replied, "Yes, may Allah repay you and your family well." In a gentle manner the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) told him, "What you said made my Companions angry, if you like, repeat what you have just said to them so that what they harbor in their chest against you will be removed." They returned to the Companions and the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) said, "This Bedouin said what he said and then we gave him more and claims to be content." Then he turned to the Bedouin and asked, "Isn't this so?" The Bedouin replied, "Yes, may Allah repay you well in your family and tribe." Thereafter the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) told his Companions, "The example of that man and myself is like a man who has a she-camel that bolts away from him, the people chase it but they only make it bolt still further. The owner of the camel tells the people to leave him and his camel alone and says to them, "I am more gentle and better to it than you." Then he goes in front of it and takes some clods of earth and drives it back until it comes and kneels, whereupon he saddles and mounts. If I had given you leave when the man said what he said, you would have killed him and he would have entered the Fire."

The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) said, "None of you should report anything to me about my Companions. I do not want to go out to you except with an innocent heart." Upon reflection one sees that amongst his merciful way of dealing with his community was that he made things easy for them. There were things that he disliked to do as he feared they might become obligatory for them. For example, he said, "If I had not been merciful to my nation, I would have ordered them to use a tooth brush (siwak) each time they made ablution." What is meant by 'my nation' refers to everyone who came after the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) up until the Last Day.

His mercy and concern for his nation is further demonstrated in narrations that speak of the amount of time to be spent during the night in prayer and the forbidding of continuous fasting. The reason he disliked entering inside the room within the Kaaba was the fear that it might become obligatory upon his nation. If he heard a child cry during the prayer, the Prophet's tender loving care was evident. He would shorten his recitation and reduce the prayer essentials to the minimum. His tender mercy is seen when he supplicated to Allah saying, "Should I ever curse a man, or supplicate against him, let it be for him charity, mercy, supplication, purification, and a coming closer by which he will come closer to You on the Day of Resurrection."

Even when his people rejected him, his mercy prevailed. We recall the time when the Archangel Gabriel, peace be upon him, came to him saying, "Allah has heard what your nation say and their rejection of you. He has ordered the Angel of the Mountains to obey whatever you tell them to do." Thereafter, the Angel of the Mountains called him and greeted him saying, "Send me to do whatsoever you wish. If you wish I will crush them between the two mountains of Mecca." In his tender, caring mercy, the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) replied, "No, rather it is my hope that Allah will bring forth from their loins those who will worship Allah alone and not associate anything with Him."

Lady Aisha, Mother of Believers (may Allah be satisfied with her) confirmed that whenever the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) was given the choice between two matters he always chose the easier of the two. Masood's son commented, "The Messenger of Allah was careful when he warned us because he feared it might tire us." There was an occasion when Lady Aicha, peace be upon her, rode an obstinate camel and started to slap it as is usual. When the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing be upon him) saw her doing this he told her, he spoke gently saying, "You must have mercy."

 

Section 16: The integrity of the Prophet, his honesty in contracts and uprightness in maintaining family ties

 

Al-Hamza's son Abdullah, relates the occasion when he made a sale to the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) however, not all of the goods were present at the time of sale so he promised go and fetch it while the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) waited. However Abdullah forgot, and three hours passed before he remembered whereupon he took the goods to the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him). Rather than being angry and taking him to task, he simply said, "Young man, you were hard on me, I have waited for you for three hours." Anas tells us that a gift was given to the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) and he said, "Take it to such-and-such a lady's house, she was a friend of Khadija and loved her." Lady Aisha (may Allah be satisfied with her) said, "I was never jealous of any lady the way I was jealous of Khadija when I heard him mention her. When he sacrificed a sheep he would send some to her friends and when her sister asked permission to enter he was happy to see her." She also said, "A lady came to him and he welcomed her with kindness and inquired about her at length. When she left he said, 'She used to come to us when Khadija was with us. Maintaining ties is part of belief."

A scholar of Islam described the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) saying, "It was his custom to maintain ties with his kinsmen without preferring them over those who were their better." Lady Zaynab (may Allah be satisfied with her) the Prophet's daughter, had a daughter named Umamah whom he used to carry on his blessed shoulders. When he prostrated he would put her down, and when he stood up he would pick her up. When a delegation from the Negus of Abyssinia visited the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) Abu Katada tells us that he got up to serve them. The Companions said, "Let us do it for you." Whereupon he said, "They were generous and honoured our Companions, and it is my wish to do the same for them."

After the encounter at Hunain, when Shaymah-the daughter of Halima, the foster mother and wet nurse of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) whom he had not seen for many years, was taken captive so she went to him and made herself known. He immediately spread out his cloak for her to sit on and kindly offered choices saying, "If you would like, you can stay with me in honour and compassion, or I will give you supplies and you can return to your tribesmen." Shaymah chose to accept the supplies and her tribesmen.

We find on another occasion when the Prophet's foster parents, and brother visited him, Amr son of As Saib said that he would spread out his garment for them to sit on.

After the Archangel Gabriel brought Prophet Mohammed (peace and blessing be upon him) the first Revelation, he was shaken and returned to his wife Lady Khadija (may Allah be satisfied with her). She immediately comforted him and attested to the uprightness of his character saying, "By Allah, be happy. Allah will never cause you to grieve. You preserve the ties of kinship, you help those in need, you are hospitable to guests, and assist people to receive what is due to them"

 

Section 17: The humility of the Prophet

 

Although Allah raised the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) to the highest rank and position he remained extremely humble; no trace of pride was ever observed in him. We recall the event when he was offered a choice between being a king-prophet or a worshipper-prophet and he chose the latter. Having made his choice the Angel Israfil told him, "Allah has been generous to you on account of your humility toward Him. On the Day of Resurrection you will be the master of the children of Adam, and the first for whom the earth will open and the first to intercede."

His humility is further demonstrated as the father of Umamah tells us, "The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing be upon him) came out to us leaning on his walking stick, and we got up for him but he in all humility said, 'Do not get up as it is the way of the Persians to show their regard for one another." Of himself, he said, "I am a servant. I eat as a servant eats and I sit as a servant sits." He was never too proud to visit and sit with the poorest of people and never declined an invitation of a servant. He would sit with his Companions and mingle with them and was not choosey where he sat. As for riding, he would ride a donkey and share the ride with another who would mount behind him.

He disliked excessive praise for himself and Omar tells us that the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) said, "Do not lavish praise on me (by associating me in a trinity) as

the Christians do on the son of Mary. I am a worshiper, so say the worshiper of Allah and His Messenger." He never shunned people and Anas relates the story of a woman, whose mental capacity was below normal, met him and said, "I need something from you." Rather than turning her away he told her "Come, sit down, mother of so and-so, I will sit with you in any of the roads in Medina until you get what you need." Anas went on to say that it was only after the woman sat down that the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) sat and he stayed with her until her need was met.

Anas further sheds light on the humility of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) and recorded that during the conflict with the children of Quraysh he rode a donkey with a saddle-cloth tied with a rope made from palm-fiber. Even when the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) was invited to eat bread made from coarse barley and rancid butter he never declined the invitation. He further tells us that after the Opening of Mecca, the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) went on pilgrimage riding a mount with a well worn saddle over which was placed a worn cloth that could only have been worth four dirhams. And he supplicated saying, "O Allah, make it an accepted pilgrimage without ostentation or desire of earning a reputation." During this pilgrimage he sacrificed one hundred camels to feed everyone in the City.

His humility is highlighted again upon the opening of Mecca when he entered the City with his band of followers. Rather than making a triumphant entry he rode humbled to Allah, bowing his head so low that it very nearly touched the saddle. Among the many signs of his humility is that he said, "Do not prefer me over Prophet Jonah, Matta's son, neither generate rivalry between the prophets, nor prefer me over Moses…. Had I remained in prison like Joseph, I would have answered the summons." Someone once said to him, "O best of creation!" in humility he replied (as Allah raised Prophet Mohammed in rank above all the prophets) "That was Abraham". The greatness of his rank will become evident to the masses and their prophets on the Day of Resurrection when there is a dire need for the unparalleled intercession granted alone to Prophet Mohammed (peace and blessing be upon him) by Allah.

The Prophet's granddaughter, Lady Aisha who was the daughter of al-Hassan, Imam Ali's son as well as others said that he would do the housework like the other members of his family, rid his clothes from barbs, repair his sandals, serve himself, sweep the floors and hobble a camel. They also said that he would take his camels out to graze and eat with those in servitude and kneed read with them. When he went to the market he would carry his own goods. Anas tells us that a female who served in his household could take hold of his hand and take him wherever she wished to go until she achieved her need.

A man came to the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) and when he saw him began to tremble on account of timidity, but the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) put him at ease straight away saying, "Be calm, I am not a king, I am the son of a woman from the Quraysh who eats dried meat." On another occasion, the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) and Abu Hurayra went to the market where he purchased a loin cloth. He told the merchant, "Weigh and then add some more." The man jumped up to kiss the hand of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) but he immediately pulled his hand back saying, "This is what the Persians do with their kings. I am not a king, I am one of your men." Then he took his loin cloth and carried it saying, "The owner is more entitled to carry his property.

 

Section 18: The justice of the Prophet, his trustworthiness, decency and truthfulness

 

Of all people, the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) was by far the most trustworthy, just, well-mannered and truthful. Even his opponents and enemies never denied these qualities. Before he was called to the Prophethood he was called by all "The trustworthy". Isaac's son said explained, "He was called, 'the trustworthy' on account of the favour of Allah to him that granted him a concentration of all the indisputable qualities of goodness." The consensus of the majority of Islamic scholars is that the verse "Obeyed and honest" 81:21 refers to Prophet Mohammed (peace and blessing be upon him). When it came to placing the Black Stone during the rebuilding of Kaaba each of the chieftains of the Quraysh wanted the honour of being the one to place the Stone and a heated argument which was to continue for several days erupted. To resolve the dispute they all agreed that the first man to enter the precincts of Kaaba would be the adjudicator. The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) was the first to enter and they said, "This is Mohammed, the trustworthy. We are satisfied with him", and the dispute was amicably settled.

Rabi, Khuthaym's son informs us that when there was a dispute between two parties in the "Time of Ignorance" (pre-Islamic days) and the Messenger of Allah was called upon to gave a judgment, none debated the judgment. The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) informs us, "By Allah, I am the one who is trustworthy in the heavens and the one who is trustworthy in the earth." Even Abu Jahl, whose hatred of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) is well documented said to him "We do not call you a liar, rather, we say what you have brought is a lie." Thereafter Allah sent down the verse, "We know what they say saddens you. It is not you that they belie; but the harm-doers deny the verses or Allah." 6:33. It is also reported that Abu Jahl said, "We do not call you a liar and you are not a person among us who is termed a liar."

At the Battle of Badr al-Akhnas, Surayk's son met Abul Hakkam, (better known as Abu Jahl), and asked him "Abul Hakkam, there is no one here to overhear us, tell me about Mohammed. Is he truthful, or is he a liar?" Abu Jahl replied, "By Allah, Mohammed is a truthful person, and never lies." When Heraclius, the Emperor of Rome examined Abu Sufyan, who had yet to embrace Islam, about the veracity of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) he asked, "Did you ever suspect him of being a liar before he said what he says?" Abu Sufyan replied, "No." One day An Nadr, son of al-Harith said to the Qurayshi tribesmen, "When Mohammed was young amongst you he was the most pleasing, truthful and trustworthy of you all, now he has white hairs around his temples and has brought you what he has brought, you say, 'A magician'. No, By Allah, he is not a magician!"

When it came to women, Lady Aisha (may Allah be satisfied with her) tells us that he never touched a woman over whom he did not have rights. Prophet Mohammed (peace and blessing be upon him) told his Companions, "Woe to you, who will be just if I am not just? If I am not just I will lose and be disappointed." The exemplary manner in which one should divide one's day is found in the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him). He divided it into three parts; a third for Allah, a third for his family, and a third for himself. With regard to the third for himself he would split it between his followers and himself. Those who were closer to him were asked to help those who were not so close, and he asked them to convey the needs of persons incapable of conveying their need and told them, "If someone conveys the need of someone who is unable to do so, Allah will give him security on the Day of the Greatest Terror."

Imam Ali (may Allah be satisfied with him) said that he heard the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) say, "There were only two occasions when I was close to anything that was done by the people during the 'Time of Ignorance' and on both occasions Allah prevented me. I have never considered doing anything evil ever since Allah honoured me with His Message. One night I asked a serving boy who was my fellow herdsman, to watch the sheep for me while I went to Mecca to spend a night. When I came to the first house in Mecca, I heard the playing of flutes and drums in celebration of someone's marriage and sat down to watch. Suddenly, I was overcome by sleep and only woke up after the sun had risen and returned without having participated. The same thing happened another time, and since then I have never considered any evil."

 

Section 19: The dignified composure of the Prophet, his silence, contemplation, natural refinement and excellent disposition

 

Kharija, Zaid's son was present at several gatherings in which the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) attended and observed that he was the most dignified and composed of all people and hardly ever moved his limbs. Another observed that during such gatherings he was patient, modest, and caring. The Companions did not raise their voices before him, nor show disrespect. When he spoke his Companions bowed their heads in silence, just as if there were birds perched upon them. Another Companion named Abu Sayeid al-Khudri also observed the posture of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) during meetings. He tells us that on most occasions he would sit with his hands clasped around his legs which were pulled up to his stomach.

As for the speech of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) he avoided people who were crude and vulgar, and was more often silent, only speaking when necessary but when he did so he was easily understood. There are many reports about the way in which he would address those in his presence and is well known to have conducted himself in the most excellent manner. His speech was eloquent and flowed yet simple for the ordinary person to understand. When he was silent it was on account of four matters, patience, caution, evaluation or reflection. When asked about the speech of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) Lady Aicha (may Allah be satisfied with her) tells us that when he spoke he would say it in such a way that a person could count his words, if he so wished.

When the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) laughed it was as a smile and when his Companions were in his company they too, out of respect for him, would smile rather than laugh. His gait was that of inclining forward, similar to the way in which one walks when going down a slope. It has also been reported that as he walked he concentrated, his pace was moderate and he did not walk hastily neither did he tarry. The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) would perfume himself and was known to love fragrant aromas and perfume. He used them often and encouraged their use saying, "I have been made to love three things in this world of yours-women, perfume, but the coolness of my eye is in the prayer."

 

Section 20: The refraining of the Prophet from worldly things

 

We have already mentioned many traditions depicting the Prophet's simplified life style in previous sections and it suffices to say that he was content with little, and turned away from worldly attractions. On many occasions he was given the riches of the world, yet he did not keep them, rather, he immediately gave them away, and when he died he owned nothing except his armor which he had pawned to a Jew so that he might feed his family.

His supplication for his family was, "O Allah, make the provision of the family of Mohammed nourishment with no excess." Lady Aicha (may Allah be satisfied with her) confirmed, "The Messenger of Allah left neither a single dirham nor dinar, nor a sheep nor a camel."

Al-Harith's son, Amr said, "The Messenger of Allah, left only his armor, his mule and some land which he had gifted as charity." Lady Aicha (may Allah be satisfied with her) tells us that until the time the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing be upon him) passed away he never had his fill of bread on three consecutive days. It has also been reported "barley bread for two consecutive days. If he had wished, Allah would have given him things that are unimaginable." And, "The family of the Messenger of Allah never had their fill of bread until he met Allah, the Mighty, the Majestic."

At the time of his death Lady Aisha said, "There was nothing in his house that a living creature could eat except some barley on one of my shelves. He told me, 'I was offered the entire valley of Mecca filled with gold but said: O Lord, I prefer to be hungry one day and full one day. On the day I am hungry I will supplicate and invoke You. On the day when I have eaten I will praise You." She also tells us that the Prophet's stomach was never full, yet he never complained to anyone. He preferred poverty to wealth and even when he suffered from the pangs of hunger during the night, it would not prevent him from fasting the following day. If he so wished he could have asked his Lord for all the treasures and fruits of the earth, and a life of plenty. She tells us that she would weep for him on account of the state in which she saw him, and massage his stomach with her hand because of his hunger. She said to him, "May I be your ransom! If you had but enough of this world to feed you!" Whereupon he replied, "O Aicha, what do I have to do with this world? My brethren among the unyielding Messengers were patient and steadfast when they faced worse than this. They passed away as they were and went on to their Lord, how honoured were they! Allah has been very generous in rewarding them. I am too shy to enjoy a life of ease if it means that tomorrow I will fall short in comparison to them. There is nothing I desire more than to be joined to my brethren and close friends." The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) passed away within the month.

She also tells us, "Sometimes we, the family of Mohammed, went for a month without lighting a fire. There was nothing except dates and water." Abbas' son, tells us that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing be upon him) and his family, would not find anything for their evening meal on many consecutive nights. We find another example of his abstinence in a transmission in which we learn the Archangel Gabriel came to him and asked, "Allah greets you and asks, would you like Me to give you this mountain in gold to accompany you wherever you go?" Whereupon he bowed his head for an hour and replied, "Gabriel, this world is the dwelling place of someone who has no dwelling place and the property of someone who has no property. It is accumulated by those without intellect." Then Gabriel said, "Allah has made you steadfast, O Mohammed, confirming you with the firm word."

The dining habits of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) have been recorded by Anass who tells us that he neither ate from a table nor plate, fine bread was not prepared for him neither was a broiled sheep. As for his bed, Lady Aisha (may Allah be satisfied with her) tells us that it was a skin stuffed with palm fibber. Lady Hafsa (may Allah be satisfied with her) spoke of his bed in her room and said that it was made from sacking folded twice, and said, "One night we doubled it four times for him, and in the morning he asked, 'What kind of bed did you make for me last night?' We told him and he said, 'Put it back the way it was, its softness prevented me from praying during the night.' Sometimes he slept on a bed of palm rope that left welts on his side."

 

Section 21: The Prophet's fear of Allah, his obedience and the intensity of his worshipping Allah

 

The Prophet's fear of Allah, his obedience to Him, and the intensity of his worshipping Allah were rooted in his knowledge of his Lord. Abu Hurayra tells us that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing be upon him) would say, "If you knew what I know you would laugh but a little and weep a lot." Abu Dharr added further information to this telling us that he said, "I see what you do not see and hear what you do not. The heaven cries out and it cries out rightfully. There is not a single place in it, the width of four fingers that does not contain an angel whose forehead is prostrating to Allah. By Allah, if you know what I know, you would laugh but a little and weep a lot, and you would not have enjoyed women in your beds, rather you would have gone out to the mountains crying to draw near to Allah. Would that I were a tree standing!"

Several of the Companions including Abu Hurayra tell us that the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) would stand in prayer so much that his feet became swollen. When he was asked why he burdened himself in such a way when Allah had already given him the status of forgiveness for past and future wrong actions he replied, "Shouldn't I be a grateful worshiper?" Lady Aisha (may Allah be satisfied with her) described the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) as being steadfast in everything he did and would ask his Companions, "Who amongst you can do what I do?" The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) would fast a lot and Lady Aisha, peace be upon her, tells us, "He would fast until we said, 'he will not stop fasting!"

One night Malik's son, Awf was present when the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) prepared himself to pray and observed that before he made his ablution he used a tooth stick (siwak) and thereafter stood in prayer and that he prayed alongside the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him). During his recitation of the chapter "The Cow" he would stop and supplicate to Allah after he had recited a verse pertaining to mercy and after he recited a verse pertaining to punishment he would stop and seek refuge with Allah. His bowing was the length of his standing and he would say, "Glory be to the Master of the worldly earth and the entire universe with its angels, of Greatness and Might." Thereafter he prostrated and said something similar. This was followed by the Chapter "The House of Imran" and so on, chapter by chapter.

Lady Aisha tells us that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing be upon him) would stand throughout the entire night reciting a single verse of the Quran. Shankhir's son, Abdullah tells us that he observed the Prophet's fear of Allah when he went to see the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing be upon him) and found him praying. As he prayed he heard sobbing coming from his chest and that its sound was similar to the boiling of a large pot. Abi Hala's son said the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) was always sorrowful and pensive, and never rested. The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) told his Companions that he asked Allah to forgive him one hundred times a day. In another narration it is reported seventy times a day.

Imam Ali asked the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) about his path and he replied, "Faith is my capital. Intellect is the basis of my religion. Love is my foundation. Yearning is my mount. The remembrance of Allah is my endearing companion. Reliance is my treasure. Sorrow is my companion. Knowledge is my armour. Patience is my cloak. Satisfaction is my booty. Incapacity is my boast. Self-denial is my profession. Certainty is my food. Truthfulness is my intercessor. Obedience is enough for me. Striving against falsehood is my character and the coolness of my eye is in the prayer." He also said, "The fruits of my heart lie in His remembrance. My sorrow is for the sake of my nation. My yearning is for my Lord, the Mighty."

 

Section 22: The qualities of the Prophets

 

Each and every prophet and messenger of Allah was blessed with a perfect disposition. They were handsome and their lineage noble. Their character was good as was their behaviour. This is because they all possess the attributes of perfection. They guided to the completed the code of human spiritual behaviour which was to be completed by Prophet Mohammed (peace and blessing be upon him) and practiced virtuous deeds on account of their rank being of the most noble and their degree being of the highest. Allah tells us that He preferred some of the prophets and messengers over others with His words, "Of these Messengers, We have preferred some above others. To some Allah spoke; and some He raised in rank. We gave Jesus, the son of Mary, clear signs and strengthened him with the Spirit of Purity (Gabriel)" 2:253. He also tells us, "and We chose them, out of a knowledge above the nations (of their time)" 44:32. Prophet Mohammed (peace and blessing be upon him) said, "The first group to enter the Garden of Paradise will be like the full moon. Every man will be in the height of their father Adam who was sixty cubits (90 feet) tall." The description of several of the prophets has been made known to us by Prophet Mohammed (peace and blessing be upon him) who tells us, "I saw Moses, he was tall with curly hair. He resembled the men of Shanu'a. I saw Jesus, he was of medium height with a reddish face just as if he had come out after having taken a hot bath." He further described him as being slender, like a sword. The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) gave additional information about Moses saying, "He is like the best men you have ever seen with a dark complexion." Of himself the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) said, "Among the descendants of Abraham, I am the one who most resembles him." Abu Hurayra tells us, "After Prophet Lot, Allah did not send a prophet who was not from the noblest class of his people." In addition to this is that they were among the wealthy and powerful. Anas tells us that Allah did not send a prophet without making his face and voice beautiful, and that Prophet Mohammed, may Allah praise and venerate him and grant him peace, had the most handsome face of all of them and also the best voice.

During the cross-examination of Abu Sufyan by Heraclius, Emperor of Rome, Heraclius said, "I questioned you about his lineage and you said that he was of good lineage among you, and that is how all the Messengers have bee sent, from the noble families of their people." There are many references to the prophets and messengers who were preferred by Allah mentioned in the Holy Quran, some of which are mentioned below: Of Prophet Job, Allah says, "We found him to be patient, a good worshiper and he was penitent." 38:44 Of Prophet John, Allah says, "'O John, hold fast to the Book' and We bestowed upon him judgment while yet a child, and tenderness from Us and purity, and he was cautious; honouring his parents, being neither arrogant nor rebellious. Peace be upon him on the day he was born and the day he dies, and on the day when he is raised up alive." 19:12-15. He also tells us of the time Prophet Zachariah, peace be upon him, was given the good news of a son, "Allah gives you glad tidings of John, who shall confirm a Word from Allah. He shall be a master and chaste, a Prophet and from the righteous." 3:39. Allah tells us, "Allah chose Adam and Noah, the House of Abraham and the House of Imran above all worlds." 3:33-34. Of Prophet Noah He says, "He was a truly thankful worshiper." 17:3. Of Prophet Jesus He says, "When the angels said, 'O Mary, Allah gives you glad tidings of a Word (Be) from Him, whose name is Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary. He shall be honoured in this world and in the Everlasting Life-and he shall be among those who are close." 3:45. Allah quotes Prophet Jesus who said, "I am the worshiper of Allah. Allah has given me the Book and made me a Prophet. (He has made me) kind to my mother; He has not made me arrogant, unprosperous. He made me to be blessed wherever I am, and He has charged me with prayer and charity for as long as I shall live." 19:29-31. Allah warns, "Believers, do not be like those who hurt Moses." 33:69. Prophet Mohammed (peace and blessing be upon him) tells us that Prophet Moses was a modest man who covered himself. No part of his body was seen on account of his modesty. Allah quotes Moses as saying, "But my Lord has given me judgment and made me one of the Messengers." 26:21.

Several of the prophets are mentioned by Allah in the Quran as saying to their people, "I am for you an honest Messenger." 26:107. In reference to Abraham, Allah says, "We gave him Isaac and Jacob and guided both, and We guided Noah before them, among his descendants were David and Solomon, Job, Joseph, Moses and Aaron-as such, We recompense the good-doers, and Zachariah, John, Jesus and Elias, each was of the righteous, and Ishmael, Elisha, Jonah and Lot. Each We preferred above the worlds as We did their fathers, their descendants, and their brothers. We chose them and guided them to a Straight Path. Such is the guidance of Allah by it He guides whom He will of His worshipers. Had they associated (others with Him), their labours would have indeed been annulled. Those, We have given them the Book, judgment, and Prophethood. If these disbelieve it, We have entrusted it to others who do not disbelieve in it. Those were whom Allah guided. Follow then their guidance and say, 'I do not ask you a wage for it. Surely, it is a reminder to the worlds.'" 6:84-90.

In the following Quran quotations Allah describes the prophets and messengers as possessors of many fine qualities; right action, chosen, judgment and prophecy. Concerning Isaac, Allah tells us that the angels said to Abraham, "'Have no fear', and gave him the glad tidings that he was to have a knowledgeable son." 51:28. Concerning Ishmael, the first son born to Abraham, Allah says, "And We gave him the glad tidings of a very gentle son." 37:101. Allah says, "We tried Pharaoh's nation before them. A noble Messenger came to them (saying), 'Be obedient to me O worshipers of Allah, I am your honest Messenger.” 44:17-18. At the time when Abraham was about to fulfil his sacrificial vision of his son, Ishmael told him, "Father, do as you are ordered (by Allah). Allah willing, you shall find me one of those who are steadfast." 37:102.

Of Ishmael, Allah says, "And mention in the Book, Ishmael; he too was true to his promise, a Messenger and a Prophet." 19:54. Allah speaks of the devotion of Moses saying, "He was devoted, a Messenger and a Prophet." 19:51. Also, "He (Moses) said: 'If Allah wills, you shall find me patient, I shall not disobey your order." 18:69 Allah tells us that Solomon was, "an excellent worshiper, he was penitent." 38:30. Allah calls upon us to remember, ”Also, remember Our worshipers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, those of might and vision. Indeed, We purified them with a most pure quality, the remembrance of the Everlasting Life. Indeed with Us they are among the chosen; the excellent." 38:45-47. Of David, He says, "Our worshiper David, a man of might. He was ever turning in repentance." 38:17, and "We made his kingdom strong and gave him wisdom and decisive speech." 38:20.

Of Joseph, Allah says, "He (Joseph) said: 'Give me charge of the storehouses of the land, I am a knowledgeable guardian." 12:55. Allah mentions the saying of Shu'aib, "Surely, you will find me, if Allah wills, among the good." 28:27. And, "I do not desire to go behind you, taking for myself that which I forbid you. I seek but to reform as much as I can." 11:88. Of Lot, Allah tells us, "To Lot, We gave judgment and knowledge." 21:74. Of Zachariah and John, Allah tells us, "They raced with each other in good works and called on Us out of yearning and awe, and they were humble to Us." 21:90. Sufyan Ath-Thawri draws our attention to another aspect of the characteristics and qualities found in the prophets, which is their continuous sorrow, this is an indication of their perfection and there are many prophetic quotations that endorsing this fact.

Prophet Mohammed, may Allah praise and venerate him and grant him perfect peace, described the noble lineage of Prophet Joseph, saying, "The noble son of a noble son, of a noble son of a noble man, Joseph, son of Jacob, son of Isaac, son of Abraham the prophet, son of a prophet, son of a prophet, son of a prophet." He also said, "The eyes of the prophets slept, but their hearts did not sleep." Solomon, who was given a great kingdom, never raised his eyes to the heavens because he was humble and feared Allah. As for his diet, he would eat coarse bread made from barley but would serve others with fine food. It was revealed to him, "O leader of worshipers and goal of the abstinent." The story has reached us of how one day when he was riding on the wind with his armies, when an elderly woman complained to him, whereupon he commanded the wind to stop so he might attend to her need before he continued on his way.

When Joseph was asked, "Why are you hungry when you are in charge of the treasures of the earth?" He replied, "I am fearful that I might become full and thereby forget those who are hungry." Abu Hurayra heard the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) say, "Recitation was made easy for him. He would order his mount and turn it loose, and would finish his recitation before his mount wandered off." David ate only from the labour of his own hands and would ask Allah to provide for him from the work of his own labour so that he would not need to take anything from the treasury. Allah tells us, "And We softened iron for him, (saying) 'Make large coats of mail and measure their links well.'" 34:11.

Prophet Mohammed (peace and blessing be upon him) told his Companions, "The prayer Allah loves most is that of David, and the fast Allah loves most is that of David. He would sleep for half of the night, stand up for a third and sleep for a sixth. He would fast alternate days. He wore wool and slept on hair. He ate barley bread mixed with salt and ashes. His drink was mixed with tears after his error of inaccurate judgment in which he had passed judgment before hearing from the second party. He was never seen to laugh nor look upwards to the sky because of his shyness before his Lord and he wept continuously until he died. It is said that he wept until plants sprang up from his tears and until the tears formed a crease on his cheeks, and that when he went out he would disguise himself to learn what people thought of his justice, and upon hearing people praise him, he became more humble."

Jesus was asked, "Why don't you ride a donkey?" He replied, "I exalt Allah so much to be occupied with tending to a donkey." His clothing was made from hair and he ate from the trees. He did not have a house and would sleep wherever sleep overtook him. The name he most liked to be called by was "the very poor". One day he was heard greeting a pig with peace. When he was asked why he had done so he replied, "I do not like that my tongue should move with evil speech," Prophet Mohammed (peace and blessing be upon him) spoke of the trials of previous prophets saying, "Some of the prophets before me were tested with poverty and lice. They preferred those trials to gifts."

Mujahid tells us that Prophet John's food was that of herbs and he wept so much on account of his fear of Allah that puffed-up folds formed on his cheeks. To secluded himself apart from people he would eat in the company of wild animals. Wahb, Munabbih's son tells that Moses sought shelter in a hut. He ate and sipped from a stone with a hollow in it. In humility he sipped in a way similar to that of an animal because of the honour Allah had shown him by speaking to him. These reports have all been recorded and the perfect attributes of the prophets and messengers together with their good character, handsome features and qualities are well known so we will not linger any more on them. Should you read contrary to these reports in other books, know that the historian or commentator is among the ill-informed.

 

Section 23: The qualities of the Prophet as described by Abi Hala ibn al-Hassan, the grandson of the Prophet

 

We have already spoken about several of the Prophet's praiseworthy qualities, his excellent virtues and perfect attributes, and brought you ample proof through reliable reports that all these qualities are truthful. However, one must be aware that these reports are but a sample and that there are so many more to learn, collect and study. This section also relates to the qualities of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) and one must realize that we have only scratched the surface as the extent of the proofs is colossal. There is an overflowing ocean of knowledge relating to the qualities of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing be upon him) and when buckets full of this knowledge are drawn from that ocean, it's effect on that ocean is insignificant.

To complete this chapter, we are of the opinion that the best manner would be to quote the sayings of al-Hassan, and al-Hussayn, the grandsons of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) narrated by Abi Hala, as they cover many of his qualities and include a considerable amount of physical detail. Al-Hassan tells us that he asked his uncle Abi Hala about the features of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing be upon him) as he wished to recall them. He said,

"The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing be upon him) was not only imposing but majestic, his face shone like the full moon. He was a little taller than medium height and a little shorter than could be termed tall. The head of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) was well proportioned and his hair was neither curly nor straight, and parted; it did not reach lower than the lobes of his ears. His complexion was fair and he had a wide brow. His eyebrows were thick separated by a narrow space. When he was angered a vein throbbed between them. His nose was long and had a line of light over it that someone might, unthinkingly, suppose to be his nose. His beard was thick, and his eyes were black and naturally mascared. His cheeks were firm and his mouth wide with evenly spaced teeth. The hair on his chest formed a fine line. His neck was as if it were fashioned from pure silver. The Prophet's physique was finely balanced, and his body firm and muscular. His belly was equal in size to his chest. His chest was broad and the space between his shoulders wide. His calves were full. He was luminous! Between the neck and navel of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) there was a fine line of hair, however the rest of his torso was free from hair. He had hair on his forearms and shoulders as did the upper part of his chest. His wrists were thick, and the palms of his hand broad. Both his hands and the soles of his feet were firm, and his fingers were long. He was slender. He had a high instep and his feet were so smooth that water ran off them. As for his gait, when he walked it was a though he was going down a hill. His walk was dignified and easy. He walked swiftly. When he addressed someone he would turn his entire body towards them. He lowered and restrained his glance which would be more downward than upward. He was the first to speak to his Companions and the first to greet any person he met."

Al-Hassan then asked how he spoke whereupon Abi Hala's son replied,

"The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing be upon him) was sad on account of his knowledge of reality and reflected. He took no rest and spoke only when necessary, spending long periods in silence. He began and concluded his talk correctly and his words were straight to the point and easily understood without excess, or inadequacy. His temperament was exceptional, he was neither harsh nor cruel. He valued a gift no matter whether it was small. He neither censured, nor criticized anything, nor did he praise the taste of food. He was only angry with whosoever violated the rights of Allah, he was never angry for his own personal sake. If he happened to point to something, he pointed with his entire hand. When something surprised him he would turn the palm of his hand upside down. When talking, he held his right thumb in his left palm. When angered he turned away, averting his face and when he was happy, he looked downwards. More often than not his laughter was that of a smile and he showed his teeth which were as white as hailstones."

Al-Hassan said, "I delayed mentioning this to al-Hussayn for a while, then I mentioned it to him only to discover he had beaten me to it. He had asked our father (Imam Ali) about the preceding prophetic qualities of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing be upon him) both at home and outside, and also about his features. He omitted nothing." Al-Hussayn said, "I asked my father about the prophetic qualities of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing be upon him) at home and he replied,

'He was permitted to enter his house for his own comfort. When he retired to his house, he divided his time into thirds, a third for Allah, a third for his family and a third for himself, then, he divided his third between the people and himself. As for the time allotted for the people, he spent more time with ordinary people than he did with the hierarchy, so none were excluded. In respect to the prophetic qualities in the third set aside for himself he would show preference to those of merit and divide the time according to the excellence of their faith. Some only had one need, whereas others had two or more. He concerned himself with them and kept them active in doing things that were beneficial for both themselves and the community. He always asked about them and their affairs. He would say, 'Those of you who are present should convey things to those who are absent, and you should let me know the needs of the people who are unable to convey their needs to me. On the Day of Resurrection, Allah will make firm the feet of a person who conveys to a ruler the need of someone who is unable to convey it himself.'" Sufyan, Wukay's son, commented "The people entered (into his presence) as seekers and only departed after they had tasted something, and left to guide others."

Al-Hussayn asked his father about the occasions the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) went out and his mode of behaviour. Imam Ali replied,

"The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing be upon him) did not speak unless it was in respect of the concerns of people. He unified people and did not divide them. He honoured the nobility from each delegation and appointed them over their people. He was cautious and guarded himself against them, however he was never discourteous and never turned his face away from them. Prophet Mohammed (peace and blessing be upon him) inquired about his Companions and would ask people about others. He praised and encouraged what was good, and disliked and discouraged anything that was odious. He took a balanced course, without making changes. He was never neglectful, because it was his fear that people might become negligent or weary. He was always prepared for any eventuality. He neither neglected a right nor let his debt become excessive so that he had to ask for the help of others. To him, the best and most preferred people were those who were good advisors to others. As for those he esteemed most, they were those who supported and helped him."

Al-Hussayn also asked Imam Ali (may Allah be pleased with them) him about his gatherings and prophetic qualities while he was with them. Imam Ali replied,

"The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing be upon him) neither sat down nor stood up without mentioning Allah. He did not reserve a special place for himself and forbade others to do so on his behalf. When he came upon a group of people he would sit down at its edge and ask others to do the same. Everyone who sat with him received his share of time and no one who sat with him felt that another was more honoured than he. The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) was patient with all people and those in his company would be the first to depart. When someone in need asked for something he would either give it to him or speak to him with words of consolation. Of all people, he was the kindest and most well mannered, and was like a father to them. When it came to the rights of people each was equal before him. The gatherings of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) were those of forbearance, modesty, patience and trust. Voices were never raised during these gatherings neither were people's shortcomings made known, nor lapses exposed. Each participant was humble, bonded to one another through their fear of Allah. Respect was shown to the elderly and mercy shown to the young, they helped those in need and were merciful to strangers."

Having asked these questions al-Hussayn then asked about the Messenger of Allah's interaction with his Companions. Imam Ali told him,

"The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing be upon him) was of a cheerful disposition, with an exceptional temperament. He was never harsh or rude and did not shout or use obscene language. He was not one to find fault nor over praise anyone. He disregarded and left anything that was unessential. He was void of hypocrisy, and did not store up matters, nor did he concern himself with trivialities. He neither censured anyone, scolded them, nor pried into the secrets of people. When Prophet Mohammed (peace and blessing be upon him) spoke it was only about things to receive a reward from Allah. When he spoke, those sitting with him sat still, as if they had birds perched on their heads. When someone spoke to him, they remained silent until he had finished. Their conversation was about the first matter that was raised. He laughed at what they laughed and was surprised by that which surprised them. When a stranger spoke to the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) in a vulgar manner, he was patient with him. He said, "When you find someone asking for something of which he has a need, give it to him." He did not look for praise except to balance a matter. He never interrupted someone who happened to be speaking, and spoke only when that person had finished what he was going to say or when the person got up from where he was sitting.”

Imam Ali (may Allah be satisfied with him) was asked by someone else to describe the silence of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing be upon him) to which he replied,

"He remained silent on account of four matters; forbearance, caution, evaluation and reflection. He reflected upon what would endure and that which would not. He was forbearing in his patience, and provocative matters never angered him. The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) exercised caution out of concern for his nation in several matters. For example he avoided offering voluntary worship in front of his followers lest they follow him and thereafter the voluntary become obligatory. If such matters had become obligatory his nation would have been punished if they neglected to do them. The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) would overlook something minor in order not to harm the establishment of something major. In other words focusing on the principle cause rather than minor issues and he would strive to establish what was best for his nation, both materially and spiritually of the code of practice, and the supportive knowledge and wisdom. He established the best practice in this life for the sake of winning in the Everlasting Life."

Praise be to Allah, and our thanks to Him. This brings to a close a glimpse of the description of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him).